Cyber threat report 2018

Asset 35
Cyber Reports

UK businesses attacked 280,000 times each by cybercriminals

  • Cyber attacks on UK businesses increase by 23 percent year-on-year in 2018
  • IP address analysis reveals that most attacks originate from China, Brazil and Russia
  • Remotely controlled IoT devices were the most targeted business applications

UK businesses were subjected to 281,094 internet-borne cyber attacks each last year, according to our analysis. The volume of attacks on UK companies was more than a quarter (23 percent) higher in 2018 than it was in 2017, surging to over 1,500 attacks a day on average in the final two months of the year.

Beaming’s analysts identified more than 1.3 million unique IP addresses used by cybercriminals to launch cyber attacks on UK companies in 2018. Just under a fifth (16 percent) of these IP addresses were located in China. Much of the cyber attack activity in November and December was traced to IP addresses in Brazil and Russia. 12 percent and seven percent of the IP addresses used to target UK companies in 2018 were located in Brazil and Russia respectively.

‘Businesses need to take cyber security seriously and put in place multiple layers of protection.’
Sonia Blizzard, managing director of Beaming

The most common targets for cybercriminals in 2018 were IoT applications such as building control systems and networked security cameras that could be controlled remotely over the internet, as well as network device administration tools that are often unsecured by default. On average, businesses were subjected to 489 attacks a day targeting these systems in the final quarter of 2018. File sharing applications attracted 277 attacks a day and databases 120 attacks a day over the same period.

Sonia Blizzard, managing director of Beaming, comments: “As an ISP, we can see what is happening on the internet and take steps to help customers protect themselves and those they do business with. We’ve seen a huge surge in criminal activity online in the final months of 2018. UK businesses were attacked at least once every two minutes last year, making it the worst year on record for cyber attacks.”

“While there is plenty that we can do at a network level to minimise the threat of online attacks, businesses need to take cyber security seriously and put in place multiple layers of protection to ensure they don’t expose their people, assets, customers and businesses partners to undue risk.”

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